Erdogan: After July 15, AK Party is responsible to all
Turkish president speaks at event marking 15th anniversary of governing Justice and Development Party
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is responsible to all Turkish citizens following last month’s failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
Erdogan’s remarks came at an event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the AK Party at its headquarters in Ankara.
“After July 15, you [AK Party] are unconditionally responsible to all Turkish people no matter what party they voted for,” Erdogan said via video conference from Istanbul.
Erdogan vowed once again to eradicate the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, which has been held responsible for the July 15 coup attempt.
“It is our binding duty to bring traitors to account, and eradicate FETO,” he said.
The president went on to say that nobody, including himself, could act like they did before July 15, the day he said Turkey was faced with the “most despicable threat in its history”.
"We can no longer act like we did before July 15. None of us can, including me as the president," he said.
“In the same vein, the AK Party -- which has been governing Turkey for the past 14 years -- cannot act like it used to either,” he said, adding that he believed the opposition parties also had the same understanding.
“I hope that non-governmental organizations, media, professional organizations, and all groups representing different dispositions and schools [of thought] also feel the same way,” he added.
Erdogan also recalled last Sunday's cross-party Democracy and Martyrs' Rally in Istanbul, which saw the participation of millions of people.
"The chairmen of political parties and people from all walks of life, who gathered at Istanbul’s Yenikapi [Square] on Aug. 7, became the harbingers of a new door being opened in front of our country.
“I believe that Turkey will own and protect this new door until the end in the name of unity, solidarity and fraternity,” he said.
The Yenikapi (literally translated as new door) event was the first time when ruling and opposition party leaders shared the same platform. It was the highlight of weeks of democracy rallies held in cities across the country since the defeated coup, which left 240 martyrs and wounded nearly 2,200 people.
Turkey’s government has said the coup was organized by the followers of Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999.
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